One of the best parts of unschooling is that our lives can flow with the seasons. It’s been spring gardening, high intensity bookkeeping, and math workshop season for me lately. For Ben, it’s been a busy season of guitar-building, learning to cook, resume-writing for a job application, fitness routines, and continuing with a fire service training class. For Don, it’s been a season of cigar-box guitar-building, computer work, and performances in his band and as a guitar player in a few musicals.
These things have kept our days filled, along with all the other ordinary parts of life. For these reasons, I haven’t written anything for a while, but I’m still here, and still thinking about things to share and things to write about that might engage you as readers. As life slows down a bit, I’ll have a little more time to express my thoughts about the different things I’ve been thinking about and what we’ve been doing lately.
Thinking about all this made me consider how these types of seasonal ebbs and flows can be similar for our children. It’s good for us to recognize that they have their own seasonal patterns, too. Sometimes they’re really busy, bursting with activity, fully pursuing a project, or learning about something new. They appear consistently productive with things that are fun to talk about or look really cool. We like it when they chat with us about what they’re doing or learning or thinking about.
Then other times they slow down, are more contemplative, quiet, and relaxed in their pursuits. Maybe they aren’t sharing details with us as much or they don’t have as much to say throughout the days. Sometimes, as parents, we interpret this kind of behavior as a bit of laziness or not as social as we’d like. We start to worry. We wonder what they’re thinking about, what they’re doing, if they’re learning anything. We start to meddle and possibly prod them in unhelpful ways.
A lot of learning can happen even when it’s not apparent at a given time, even if we can’t see it. A lot of happiness and rejuvenation can occur during the quieter, relaxed periods of our lives. Each season has its own possibilities for different types of learning and important types of growth. I think we owe it to ourselves and our children to respect and appreciate all these seasons.